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Travel and Transport

Birmingham suffers illegal levels of air pollution, contributing to 900 early deaths each year, as well as global heating and climate change. 40% of trips made by car are under two miles, meaning they could be replaced with cycling, walking or public transport. Birmingham has a vast network of canals, walking routes, cycle routes and connected greenspace, providing space for exercise and for commuting.

How to make a change in your community

  • Have your say: Birmingham is in the middle of an active travel transport initiative, building upon emergency measures introduced during lockdowns to create more space for walking, cycling and active transport in the city. Get involved through the council website to have your suggestions heard.
  • Introduce a workplace car parking levy – Nottingham has an extremely successful system, which constitutes a charge on employers who provide parking space, incentivising them to reduce parking provision. Money is used to fund more sustainable infrastructure. Small employers may be exempt, as are disabled parking spaces, NHS premises and emergency services.
  • Monitor air pollution at key areas to better understand the situation – data can be used to inform stakeholders and gain support for change.
  • Introduce new infrastructure for cycling, including separate, safe and well-lit cycle paths and space for securing bicycles in key areas.
  • Organise litter picks and general maintenance along walking and cycling routes, to make them more attractive to users.
  • Promote bike hire schemes, such as the West Midlands Bike Hire Hub.
  • Organise car free / clean air days for the local community.
  • Ban or discourage cars from areas with the worst pollution – for example town centres. This can be achieved using a clean air zone, or pedestrianising areas along high streets.
  • Provide electric vehicle charging points, promote the switch to electric vehicles for both private car owners and public transport systems including buses.
  • Encourage and enforce ‘no idling’ measures in key areas, for example outside of schools.
  • Promote lift sharing in the community, as well as car clubs and the usage of public transport.
  • Reduce the need for private vehicles through careful planning of new developments, with the aim of creating ‘walkable communities’.
  • Collaborate with local cycling groups to hold commuter rides, and encourage people to cycle to work as a group.

Example Actions

  • Hold a clean air day in your local community
  • Host a litter pick and a led ride along a key cycling route
  • Get employers on board with a car parking levy

Useful Links

ecobirmingham offer plenty of cycling tuition including route-finding sessions, bike ability, and bike maintenance. There is a well-established cycling community to get involved with and help you feel more confident cycling in the city. Have a look at the cycling group page on our website. https://ecobirmingham.com/find-a-cycling-club/

Global Action Plan run an annual Clean Air Day campaign nationwide. https://www.actionforcleanair.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-day

Birmingham City Council have resources on organising litter picks in your community. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20009/waste_and_recycling/1769/community_litter_picking

The Campaign for Better Transport have a range of resources and blogs on sustainable transport. https://bettertransport.org.uk/

Nottingham City’s employer handbook on their workplace parking levy. https://secure.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/wpl/common/Employer_handbook.pdf

Suggested Tools

Bioregional offer Sustainability Consulting for Local Authorities. https://www.bioregional.com/projects-and-services/built-environment-consultancy/local-authorities

Net Zero Navigator tool for identifying and building plans to reach net-zero in UK local authority areas. https://netzero-navigator.oneplanet.com/ 

Join the Climate Emergency Network on Knowledge Hub, for sharing information between local authorities https://khub.net/web/climatelocal 

Local Government Association – Climate change hub, includes tools such as Greenhouse Gas Accounting tool for identifying baselines. https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/climate-change-hub

Support local businesses to pledge to reducing their environmental impact with the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/environment-and-energy/west-midlands-net-zero-business-pledge/ 

Ashden Sustainability plan Toolkit for Councils: https://ashden.org/tools-for-councils/ 

Funding 

The National Audit Office Report into Local Government and Net Zero identified £1.2 billion in specific grant funding available in 2020-2021 for local authorities to act on climate change, and notes this is a sixteen-fold increase on the previous year.

Download an Action Plan so you can set your own goals!





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